American Airlines Flight Diverted After Passenger Punches Flight Attendant in Face: 'This Behavior Must Stop'

The plane landed in Denver after the passenger allegedly punched the female flight attendant over mask requirement.

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By Chloe Arrojado • Oct 10, 2021

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

On Wednesday, an American Airlines flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Cali. diverted to Denver after a passenger "physically assaulted" a flight attendant.

One witness claims the flight attendant had "blood splattered on the outside of her mask" after being struck in the face. Another stated she was taken to the hospital after the incident.

WABC-TV of New York City reports the passenger punched the female flight attendant over the airline's mask rules. Passengers say he had to be duct taped to his seat.

Related: American Airlines Pilots to Picket Over Staff Shortages, Fatigue

American Airlines issued a statement following the incident, saying the passenger will not be allowed to travel with the airline anytime in the future.

"We are outraged by the reports of what took place on board. Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines. We have engaged local law enforcement and the FBI and we are working with them to ensure they have all the information they need. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law," the statement says. "This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent."

After law enforcement removed the passenger in Denver, the flight continued to California.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been 4,941 Unruly passenger reports and 3,580 Mask-related incidents over the past year.

Related: 3 Airline Stocks That Are Taking Off

Chloe Arrojado

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